Bright World Guardianships has contacts with many British boarding schools and colleges and arranges placements into these schools for students from countries worldwide. Students are full boarders but if they live as far away as China, Thailand, Korea and some parts of Russia, or have very busy parents, they obviously cannot go home at half terms or exeat weekends (Friday to Sunday). So then Bright World places them with host families. Homes are not needed during the long school holidays as the students return to their own families then. At the beginning and end of terms students may need accommodation for just one night, whilst coming back or going to the airport.
Although the Host Family role is a paid one and does provide a valuable extra income, it is much more than this. Hosting a young international student can make their entire experience in the UK a happy one. If you welcome a student into your home, they will look forward to exeats and half terms, and their overall experience and impression of the UK will be enhanced.
Your children will also benefit from this exposure, simply by sharing their home for a week or so. During this time, they will learn about new cultures and countries, and will have the opportunity to interact with a young person from a completely different country and background. Within the cosmopolitan, culturally diverse world in which we live, contact such as this is invaluable and can only aid your children in their future life and work, where cultural understanding is especially key. Think of it as a geography and culture lesson at your breakfast table!
For several years my family has welcomed such students into our home and although it is now just me and my husband we continue to do so. It is fun and rewarding, and we have hosted and befriended some lovely young people. So, what do you actually have to DO as a host family?
collect and return the student from a local school or college - mileage paid.
provide accommodation and 3 meals a day during exeat weekends, half terms (up to 10 days), occasionally overnight stays at beginning and end of term - nightly rate paid.
No need to feel obliged as the students usually need to rest after a busy time at school and often have work to do. Generally, they are highly motivated to study and very diligent. Of course, if you want to take them out and about, you can. Expenses will be paid if approved by the parents first.
Bright World give very clear guidelines on what is expected of you and the student, covering all aspects such as the rules for different ages going out and what to do if your student stays in their room much of the time (it’s normal!). There are full details to refer to, people to check with in office hours, and with the 24-hour emergency line too I have always felt we have the full back up of the Guardianship company.
With so many excellent independent schools in the Reading and Oxford areas there is always a need for host families. I would urge you to consider whether this is for you as – we love being involved in these young people’s lives and feel they certainly enrich ours.
Sue Fung, Bright World Host Family
If you are interested in becoming a host family, please go to the “Become a Host Family” tab and complete an application form. For further information, you can refer to the Frequently Asked Questions or contact 01273 835745 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on May 1st, 2018 @ 10:29 AM